Scammers posing as representatives of government [1] [2], financial institutions [1] [2] [3], and technology companies have caused significant financial losses through fraudulent schemes. This article discusses the tactics used by these fraudsters and provides advice from the FBI and City of London police on how to protect oneself from falling victim to these scams.


The FBI has reported that scammers have defrauded victims of $55 million from May to December 2023. These fraudsters target vulnerable individuals, particularly senior citizens, by convincing them that their bank accounts are at risk. They then persuade victims to liquidate their assets into cash or precious metals [1] [2], which they are instructed to hand over to a courier or wire to a “metal dealer.” The scam combines online and offline techniques [1] [2], with scammers sometimes using passcodes to authenticate transactions [2]. Once the money is handed over [2], victims never hear from the scammers again and lose all their funds [2]. To prevent falling victim to these scams [3], the FBI advises the public to protect their personal information [1] [2], avoid giving cash or precious metals to strangers [1] [2], and exercise caution when interacting with unsolicited messages or unknown individuals.

In addition, the FBI has issued a public warning about criminals exploiting courier services in tech support and government impersonation scams. Scammers pose as tech support workers [3], government officials [1] [2] [3], or employees of technology companies and financial institutions [3], deceiving victims into converting assets into cash or precious metals [3]. They may provide victims with a passcode for authentication during in-person transactions with couriers [3]. This scheme has resulted in over $55 million in losses from May to December 2023 [3]. Individuals are advised to never send precious metals to legitimate businesses or government organizations [3], refrain from sharing personal information [3], and promptly report incidents to the FBI.

Furthermore, City of London police reported that thousands of people lost over £15 million ($19 million) to “courier fraud” in 2022 [2]. Confidence fraud and tech support scams have also resulted in significant financial losses [2], with scammers earning nearly $734 million and $807 million respectively in 2022 [1].


These scams have had a devastating impact on individuals and society, resulting in substantial financial losses. To mitigate the risk of falling victim to these schemes, it is crucial to remain vigilant and follow the advice provided by law enforcement agencies. Reporting incidents promptly to the authorities is essential for tracking and apprehending these fraudsters. As technology continues to advance, it is likely that scammers will adapt their tactics, making it even more important for individuals to stay informed and take necessary precautions to protect themselves and their assets.